Peach - how to prune

I have this peach tree which was not in a good shape to start with.
There was a post from more than a year ago where I asked for advice about this tree.

Currently, it seems like all the new growth is on the root stock and nothing much on the grafted part.
I am not sure how to prune it to get it in shape. Should I get rid of all the growth that came out from the rootstock.
Here are some of the current pics:

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If the both left branches are above the graft union then you should cut the branch that grows from the rootstock off completely.

BTW , next time, don’t buy any tree that has such grafting work.

That could all be rootstock. We can’t tell. It’s all coming from very low down.

Yes, it is possible. If you read his post two years ago talking about the tree was grafted at the bend. If the scion didn’t die, more likely the left branches is the scion wood. The branch grows to the right which is vigorous too could be part of rootstock , a bud right at the grafting union. But the straight up right branch definitely is from the rootstock.

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easy option - remove the huge rootstock branch, try and shape the tree with burying the the portion of the rootstock all the way up to but not over the graft union (as suggested by @Jose-Albacete in the previous thread). With that amount of rootstock growth, its not surprising that your tree didn’t grow much

recommended option - remove the oddly shaped variety and leave the straight up growth on the rootstock. Mound it a bit more so that rootstock out of the mound looks straight. You can either graft the tree this year with a single variety or establish neat scaffolds on the rootstock and graft each scaffold (with multiple varieties) next year.

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Keep it all. Force the branches apart and grow it a open center peach.
Peach Tree Training Systems: Trials, Tribulations, and Looking to the Future (

If the rootstock branches do not produce for you next year graft over them.

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Thank you for the elaboration. I didn’t have any experience in buying any fruit plants before that. Got this on craigslist where seller mention that she was selling access plants (in fact discarded plants). Right after buying, I knew there is something wrong and got it confirmed by asking on this forum.
I did not want to throw away this plant and wanted to give it a chance.
Learnt my lesson to buy from reputable nurseries.

Thanks, I like this idea and will try it. But I don’t have any experience in grafting.

Thank you @IL847, @fruitnut , @californicus , @lordkiwi for your replies!
Seems like consensus is to get rid of root stock or get it grafted.
What are the disadvantages if I want to keep the root stock branches and see if they produce anything?
Also, If I try grafting what are my options to get the scion from.

Disadvantage is that you will have less fruits from your grafted cultivar as the rootstock takes half the energy away from the grafted branch. In your case, more than half because your rootstock branch much closer to the root and is stronger. Eventually, it will shade the grafted branch and make that branch weaker. So pick one is the best bet for that tree IMO.


I’ll add just one more point to what @IL847 already said. None of the common rootstocks we know produce decent tasting fruit.

Just ask here :slight_smile: in the trading posts category

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Don’t know how to graft? Good thing you joined this forum.

You never mentioned what rootstock your peach is on, Lovell was a standard drying and canning peach before it became a rootstock, Foundation Plant Services ( @derby42 How did that rootstock fruit end up? Almond rootstock - General Fruit Growing - Growing Fruit.

Citation is a peach plum hybrid, which I guess might make a nice fruit. A peach-almond hybrid stock Like an Atlas or Viking I suspect might not be worth eating.

Tree wise the absolute 100% correct choice is remove the blue and red branches and graft over the green. But I don’t think you want 100% correct.

Remove the Red branches graft over green with branches from blue. Check the guides section of the forum for posts.

Remember what the suckers you cut off look like. Those are the kinds of branches you will be cutting off in the winter to graft next spring.

Take a look at @Richard peach tree. Mid Pride Peach - Pictures! - Growing Fruit its open center but starts a little higher off the ground that doesn’t matter.

Never let your peach tree grow over 6ft tall. A branch hits 6tf cut its.

Richard keeps is at a neet 5ft

I have never done any grafting but would like to learn.
Agreed that this forum is a hidden gem with a wealth of information.

Unfortunately, I do not know about the rootstock variety and Thank you for the post link providing information about the rootstock.
Appreciate both suggestions, I am more inclined towards this option: “Remove the Red branches graft over green with branches from blue”

@lordkiwi I grew several trees on that rootstock. All did good. I have one here at the new house. It has Madison and red skin grafted on it . It is a large tree now, i will try and take a photo tomorrow

@lordkiwi , here is my peach tree that I grew on rootstock from a halls hardy almond. To be clear this is the rootstock the halls was grafted onto. The halls tree had a sucker grow out below the graft that produced small green, extremely grainy peaches. That is the seed I saved and grew for rootstock. Anyway here is the tree.